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Posted by ESC on February 24, 2000

In Reply to: Truth posted by ESC on February 24, 2000

: : who/what/where was the phrase "to tell the truth" coined?...i'm curious...i have to wirte a paper on what the truth is and well..that's part of what I could use... I haven't been able to find it anywhere so far..maybe you guys could help...

: There was an old game show (in the 50s??) called "To Tell the Truth." Then, of course, there's the courtroom oath. Someone else on Phrase Finder can probably add more complete details.

: I can contribute the origin of the phrase "naked truth." "According to an old Roman fable, when Truth went swimming in the river, Falsehood stole Truth's clothes. Truth went naked rather than put on the clothes Falsehood had left behind. Such is the origin of 'nuda veritas' or the 'naked truth,' which can be traced back as far as the writings of Homer." From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

I looked for this history of swearing an oath, etc., and got nowhere. I did find out more about the TV show! To Tell The Truth (quiz show)
(Primetime on CBS, 1956 - 1967) (Daytime on CBS, 1962 - 1968) -- with Bud Collyer, MC
(Syndicated version with Gary Moore and Joe Garagiola, MCs, 1969 - 1977)
(Syndicated version with Robin Ward, MC, 1980-1981)

There are zillions of quotes about truth reflecting different points of view. Truth is a lot of things to different people. Take, for example, the proverbs "Nothing hurts like the truth" and "The truth shall set you free." What is the truth about truth?

"A truth that's told with bad intent/Beats all the lies you can invent." William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence.

"It takes two to speak the truth -- one to speak, and another to hear." Henry David Thoreau, "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers."

"There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times." Voltaire, letter .

"Truth is proper and beautiful at all times and in all places." Frederick Douglass, April 14, 1876.

"Truth pressed to the earth, will rise again." Martin Luther King Jr., speech at the March on Montgomery, Ala., March 25, 1965.

"All truths proclaimed by man are relative. My search has been for absolute truth." Adam Clayton Powell Jr., "Adam by Adam," 1971.

"Who loves Truth love God, for God is Truth." Frank Yerby, "Judas, My Brother," 1967.

"Truth exists, only falsehood has to be invented." Georges Braque, "Pensees sur l'art."